A state audit of the Maryland State Games in 1990, which led to the dismissal of two games officials, found more than $460,000 in questionable expenditures. That figure was incorrectly reported in Sports yesterday.
A delegation from the state of Maryland, led by Gov. William Donald Schaefer, will find out today at the U.S. Olympic Committee meeting in Dallas if it has won the right to host a U.S. Olympic Festival.
Maryland is competing against the cities of Denver, St. Louis and San Antonio and the three-county area of South Florida, for the opportunity to host one of three Olympic festivals, a multi-sport national competition held every non-Olympic year. The three areas chosen will host the festivals of 1993, 1994 and 1995.
Officials from the five areas met with the USOC Festival Committee, each giving a 30-minute presentation to the panel. The Olympic Festival will be held in Los Angeles this summer; there will be no festival in 1992, an Olympic year.
After listening to the presentations, the festival committee will recommend three choices to the USOC executive committee, which will vote on them this morning.
The state of Maryland, which plans to use facilities in the Washington suburbs as well as in Baltimore, had been considered a front-runner to win one of the festivals until it was forced to reorganize its bid committee after a scandal surrounding the Maryland State Games.
Those games, a state Health and Mental Hygiene Department program that had been spearheading the festival effort, were opened to a criminal investigation by the state Attorney General's Office after a state audit found more than $460 million in questionable expenditures.
The auditor's findings led to dismissal of two games officials and the disbanding of the program. The state then put together a new team of government and business leaders to oversee the festival bid.
One USOC official said the organization had been hoping to place a festival in the Washington, D.C., area, but that the scandal damaged Maryland's chances.